PANS-08

POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 89 restrictions. Drivers should have to pass a road test before proceeding to the next stage of the program. Stage 2 should also be 12 months in length. During this stage, supervision would not be required, except for nighttime driving, driving on high-speed roads, or driving with more than one teenage passenger. In order to proceed, stage-2 drivers should be required to pass a second road test. Stage 3 should be a 24-month probationary period, during which the driver would have full driving privileges, but would be subject to closer scrutiny by the licensing authorities than more experienced drivers. All drivers and supervisors in the GLP should be required to maintain a zero BAC, and be free of potentially impairing drugs. The stages of the GLP should not be shortened for those who have taken a driver education course. MADD Canada also recommends that all drivers under the age of 21 be subject to a zero BAC limit. This provision should apply even if the driver has successfully completed the entire GLP. Young drivers are already disadvantaged due to their inexperience, and they should not have their judgment further impaired by alcohol. This recommendation addresses the high rates of alcohol-related fatalities among 18-20 year old drivers and the fact that, under the current law, they are first permitted to drive unsupervised at about the same time they reach the legal drinking age. Such BAC limits, which have been adopted throughout the United States, have proven to be very effective in reducing alcohol-related crashes among those under the age of 21. The fourth section examines the police enforcement powers that are required to implement effective youth impaired driving policies. If the province or territory has not already done so, it should give the police express statutory authority to stop vehicles and demand documentation from both beginning drivers and any supervising adult. Moreover, the police need to be given express statutory authority to demand roadside breath testing from drivers and supervisors who are subject to a zero BAC restriction. Such measures have been shown to have significant traffic safety benefits, in that they deter drinking and driving, by increasing the perceived risks of detection and sanction. Drivers who violate the zero BAC restriction should be subject to an immediate licence suspension and other appropriate administrative sanctions. MADD Canada also recommends establishing systematic sobriety checkpoint programs in areas that routinely generate large numbers of young impaired drivers and pedestrians. Measures are also needed to address the fact that young people have the highest reported rates of driving under the influence of cannabis and other illicit drugs. We recommend that the police be given express statutory authority to demand participation in a standard field sobriety test from any driver they reasonably suspect has drugs in his or her body. These and similar powers are essential if the police are to effectively enforce the existing federal criminal prohibition on driving while one’s ability to do so is impaired by drugs. The fifth section of the study begins with a summary of our recommendations, and then identifies five priorities for immediate action. Our priorities reflect the need to address both the hazardous patterns of alcohol and drug consumption among Canadian youth, and their lack of driving skills and experience. These priorities are: • More rigorous enforcement of the existing liquor licence prohibitions against selling, serving or giving alcohol to minors or intoxicated individuals, particularly in licensed establishments catering to youth; • Implementation of a comprehensive GLP comprised of three licensing stages; • Enactment of a zero BAC limit for all drivers under the age of 21; • Enactment of express statutory authority permitting the police to stop vehicles and inspect documentation, to demand breath samples from drivers and supervisors who are subject to a GLP, and to demand breath samples from drivers subject to an age-related zero BAC restriction; and • Introduction of systematic sobriety checkpoint programs in areas that traditionally have high concentrations of young impaired drivers and pedestrians. (...Youth and Impaired continued)

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